Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

April 5, 2011

What Miss Plumcake Is…

Filed under: Books,Movies,Music,No Buy,Perfume,Shoes — Miss Plumcake @ 2:00 pm

Reading: Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving. If Ichabod Crane is all you know of Washington Irving, you’re missing out. Somewhere between the Arabian Nights and a travelogue, this is a fantastic and entirely-too-neglected classic. Plus you can read a chapter or so a night, so it’s handy to have by the bed.

Watching: Juliet of the Spirits. Fellini at his trippiest, it’s not merely a surreal masterpiece from my very favorite director –some would say the female version of 8 1/2— it was and continues to be a hugely influential movie for designers not just for Gianni di Venanzo’s luscious cinematography but for Piero Gherardi’s over-the-top costume confections. Beautiful, strange and surprisingly empowering. It was Galliano before Galliano was. Brilliant.

Hearing: Etta James At Last. Do you not own this album? How do you not own this album? Plus it’s available as a $5 download from Amazon.

Smelling: Inis Or. This actually smells awful on me, but it’s a decent little inexpensive juice if you like fresh but not too sweet aquatic fragrances.

Loving: Proper Vegetables. The Irish, in my limited experience, are not a vegetable loving people. Except when it comes to peas. Then it’s like that Monty Python sketch when they try to order a strawberry tart without so much rat in it. Somewhere, somehow, someone is going to slip you some peas.

Hating: The Stupid Perfect Shoe. ARGH. Why am I not buying new shoes until I’ve worn all my current shoes just once? These are PERFECT AND THEY’RE ON CLEARANCE. ARRRRRRGGHHmhnfndfddghhh

Wanting: Sonia Rykiel Bag. I’m really not a bag girl but I like this one. I basically resent having to carry a bag at all and for the past week I’ve just been using an antebellum sterling silver calling card case. Sure I’ve got the Birkin, which is the size of my car (WHO? WHO needs that much space?!) This would do me juuuust fine.

Buying: Kiyonna Bellini Ballet Wrap. I’ve been loving variations on these for the past few month, wearing one side pinned up with a brooch as a sort of a wrap. Right now I’m liking a sort of more structured, Antwerp Six, look. Long and lean with attention to unusual proportionals.

March 22, 2011

What Miss Plumcake is…

Hello my little bourbon biscuits, it’s Tuesday and while I am wandering about the hills and dales of the Emerald Isle with my two besties, I thought I’d take a minute and share with you an Irish-tinged edition of What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: The Complete Short Stories of Oscar Wilde If all you know of Wilde are his pithy quotes and frothy plays (both of which are still highly recommended) you owe it to yourself to check out some of his no-foolin’ literatoor. Beautiful, tender and razor sharp, these are some of my favorite short stories. Half Daudet and half Kipling, it’s all brilliant.

Watching: The Commitments I was just learning to play the saxophone when this film about a bunch of misfits from Dublin and their dream of blue-eyed soul stardom came out and I fell in love. Even if you saw it years ago, rent it and be reminded what a great flick it is.

Hearing: U2 – Achtung Baby I’m just going to go ahead and say that the seventh studio album from Bono and the lads is the most important pop album of the 90’s.

Smelling: Vol de Nuit by Guerlain I’m wearing the vintage, which is even more heartbreakingly beautiful, this 1933 creation by Jacques Guerlain was an homage to Antoine Saint-Exupery (yes, the Little Prince guy) and his novel, Vol de Nuit. On me Vol de Nuit is a pale butter daffodil floating in a cup of softly spiced milk tea. Unusual comfort at its best.

Loving: Funnel-necked peacoat Until last week I didn’t have a coat. It doesn’t get very cold in Texas so usually I either wear my vintage blonde mink stole or my lynx stoller. However, I figured it would be a bit nippy here in Eire and I thought maybe it would behoove me to get some sort of outwear that didn’t once have a mother and a dream. I picked this up for a song from Lane Bryant and I just love it. I’ve never worn double-breasted before, but it looks great and is a fantastic spring coat. Word to the wise: apparently the buttons fall off easily. I reinforced mine before I left across the pond and haven’t had any problems at all.

Hating:  Stupid Giraffe-print Bag So when did this become attractive? Because this is not attractive. I’ve been seeing these things for YEARS and I just cannot TAKE it anymore. This is not a good bag! The original, which is Dooney and Bourke (and why would you even knock off Dooney and Bourke? That’s like knocking off Juicy Couture.) is bad but at least it’s potentially well-made. These are just AWFUL. So please. Stop buying them. They’re not hip, they’re not clever. They’re just dreadful.

Wanting: Let ‘Em Hang soccer boot shirt from Studs Up Football Club Oversharing time. I’m pretty good about being friends with my exes. One of my favorites played in Serie A for seven years and is an all around good egg. Obviously he was great looking (mama, as previously mentioned, does not do ugly)and we still see each other occasionally, but the only time I ever regret relegating him to the friend zone is when he walks around with his boots hung around his neck. Do I find the strung boots look hot because it is sexy on its own merit or is it a product of conditioning? The world may never know, but I do know this is a piece of class kit and it needs to go into Miss Plumcake’s personal collection with a quickness.

Buying: Revlon Hushed Blush nail color Why do I always forget Revlon makes great nail colors? It’s been a million years since I’ve bought anything but OPI or Essie, but I picked up this understated blushed rosewood color when I couldn’t find my beloved Kreme de la Kremlin and have been twitterpated ever since. Is the product as good as OPI? No, not really, but the color’s great and there’s no reason a well-applied manicure with Hushed Blush won’t last you a week.

March 15, 2011

What Miss Plumcake is…

Filed under: Books,Dating,Intimates,Lingerie,Movies,Music,Perfume,What Miss Plumcake is — Miss Plumcake @ 10:45 am

Hello my little gangsters of love, how’s every little thing? I hope you all are recovered from yesterday’s Monday Hotness, because now it’s Tuesday and time to find out What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda – Dual Language Edition Do you want to know how good Pablo Neruda’s love poems are? They got me into a co…commi….into one of those things, with the two people and the feelings and the listening instead of replaying Gareth Bale’s jaw-dropping hat trick at the San Siro in your head until it’s your turn to talk again. That’s powerful mojo.

Watching: Turtles Can Fly I say watching because I can only get through about fifteen minutes at a time. The first movie filmed in Iraq after Hussein’s fall, it takes place on the eve of the American invasion and tells the story of 13 year-old Satellite and his young friends who clear minefields in a Kurdish refugee camp on the Turkish border. Equal parts Les 400 Coups, The Great Escape and Waiting for Godot, it’s not easy to watch but it’s as important a film that’s been made in the past decade.

Hearing: Cultura Profetica – DiarioHot hot babymakin’ reggae en Español. Sure back in college I owned Bob Marley “Legend” and watched The Harder They Come with a bunch of my trustafarian pals one night, but that’s about as far as I got. Until, of course, I get this dropped on me –in Spanish– by my…uh…person friend:

I would like to live in your legs
Creeping up you like ivy
Or sail the thousand leagues
fixed at the helm of your hips


Smelling: Serge Lutens – Ambre Sultan Let us make a hypothetical situation. Let us say that once upon a time, and definitely not like, the first weekend in January or anything, there was a girl who had a special friend (and that was totally okay because it was before her person friend came in the picture) and that special friend happened to be a scorchin’ hot former professional soccer player from Casablanca. And let’s hypothetically say that one day this special friend invited the girl over to his house for a homemade Moroccan meal and to watch Casablanca in the traditional way, which apparently involves a several-hour massage with sweet almond oil and some mysterious green stuff he got at the souk followed by some premier grade necking, something just highly ill-advised involving mint tea and eventually breakfast. With me so far? All of that, without the mint (which seriously, I give points for creative enthusiasm, but that was just poor planning all around). That’s Ambre Sultan. Or so I’ve heard.

Loving: Better Business Bureau Charity Checker (click here for a list of BBB-approved organizations doing relief work in Japan). Chip in if you can.

Hating: Everyone in town for SXSW. Listen, I get it. I love Austin too, that’s why I live here. But you and your girl jeans and your ironic facial hair can just go back to Cleveland now. Stand up straight, get that hair out of your eyes and get a soul-killing job like the rest of us!

Wanting: Jeanne Moreau’s buffalo plaid cap from Jules et Jim. WHY? WHY is it so hard to find this thing? I just don’t understand.

Buying: Dream Curves Seamless Hi-Waist Bike Short Man I love these things. Alluring? Not so much, but I like the way they smooth my stuff out without locking it down. There’s nothing worse than shapewear that pancakes your butt or causes the Vesuvius of all muffin tops. Plus they don’t roll, by which I mean they roll a little but not so much they make me want to die and or kill.

January 11, 2011

What Miss Plumcake is…

Filed under: Books,Cheap Thrills,Hermes,Makeup,Movies,Music,Perfume — Miss Plumcake @ 10:59 am

Reading: At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald Criminally under-appreciated, the Scottish fantasy author –arguably the first successful British fantasy author– influenced everyone from Mark Twain and J.R.R. Tolkein to C.S. Lewis, whose novel The Great Divorce features MacDonald as a character. Unfortunately, the man who served as Lewis Carroll’s mentor –fun fact: it was MacDonald who suggested Carroll submit his little book about a girl named Alice for publication– is virtually ignored. I’d read Lilith ages ago and grew up with Princess and the Goblin and Princess and the Curdie, but I’d missed At the Back of the North Wind until just recently. It’s Oliver Twist meets The Water-Babies, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Don’t miss it.

Watching: Casablanca I still don’t know if Elsa got on the plane, but I sure had a fun time watching it.

Hearing: Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida feat. David Guetta What? Like fat white Episcopalian girls can’t like Flo Rida now? It’s a killer track! Also I would kill for his watch. ALSO also, I totally think he draws in his beard.

Smelling: Iris 39 from Le Labo I went on a little jaunt to Dallas on Saturday and Sunday to do a little shopping, see Andre and visit my brother who I’m beginning to suspect does not own any clothes without illustrated rhinocerosesses on them. The familial visit didn’t happen, the Andre visit was a train wreck, albeit a very poignant, elegant Alphonse Daudet/Guy de Maupassant-style train wreck, but the shopping, the shopping was good. Unlike Austin, Dallas has a proper Barney’s and proper Barney’s have proper fragrance counters, including Serge Lutens, Frederic Malle and Le Labo. I’m wearing Le Labo Iris 39 today and if you like your unflaggingly elegant iris with a little bit of filthy filthy sex, Iris 39 might be worth a go.

December 22, 2010

‘Tis the Season for the Bollywood Hopeful

Filed under: Accessories,Makeup,Movies,Perfume,Tis the Season — Miss Plumcake @ 8:00 am

Bollywood/Hollywood – My favorite English-language Bollywood film. Not that Monsoon Wedding isn’t great, but I love the tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the traditional Indian family and the plucky –not helpless with a thin veneer of pluck– heroine. If Frank Capra directed modern-day bollyflicks, I think you’d get something like this.

Guerlain Terracotta Kajal Intense Indian Kohl – You can’t do South Asian Glam without kohl eyeliner and lots of it. Unfortunately, applying loose kohl powder is challenging to even the most seasoned paint-slinger. The application itself isn’t that hard, but controlling the fall down (the bits of powder left on your cheek) is messy business. Guerlain, whose kohl products are excellent, makes a cream kohl with the incredible intensity of a powder and it’s safe for use on the waterline.

Sandalwood Amber Sheet Spray
– As a lover of perfume and all things fragrant it’s no wonder I’m drawn to Indian culture. Everything, from the food to the temples to the clothes to the bedroom, is heavily –often gloriously– scented. Keep a sachet of cardamom pods in your pillows and spray your sheets with sandalwood and you’ll drift off to sleep (or whatever else you do in bed) like an Indian queen.

Linden Earrings from Kendra Scott – More is always more. These earrings –glam but still wearable without looking costumey– are the most.

Be sure to check back at the main ‘Tis the Season page to look back on profiles you’ve missed and look forward to ones that are soon to come!

November 30, 2010

What Miss Plumcake is…

Filed under: Accessories,Books,Fashion,Jewelry,Movies,Music,Perfume,Plumcake's Closet — Miss Plumcake @ 1:00 pm

Hello my little buttermilk biscuits, how’s every little thing? Me? I’m fab.

My shipment of strepsils, QI DVDs and Marks and Spencer English breakfast tea is well on its way from London via Edinburgh and Montreal (thanks Michael! You’re a pal) and I’m getting all breathless at the idea of an entire weekend alone with my tea, my imported medicated lozenges and Stephen Fry all to myself. That’s right, it’s all about the glamor here at Chateau Gateau.

However it’s still Tuesday which means my mentholated marathon is several days away, so let’s find out what Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: Born Round:A Story of Food, Family and a Ferocious Appetite by Frank Bruni
Watching: Les Biches
Hearing: The Lady Killer by CeeLo Green. I can’t help it. It’s a shockingly great Motown album from beginning to end.
Smelling: Attrape-Coeur by Guerlain
Loving: Rachel Leigh Peridot Drop Earrings
Hating: The Knock-Kneed Naif Look. Listen, you’re not Lolita or an extra in a Bob Fosse number. You’re a grown-ass woman so stand up straight.
Wanting: Michael Kors Asymmetrical Zipper Dress (on BIG sale)
Buying: Saks V Neck Cashmere Sweaters. You can NEVER have too many cashmere sweaters, especially on sale!

So what about you? What’s rocking your casbah this last day of November?

November 23, 2010

What Miss Plumcake is…

Filed under: Abominations,Accessories,Books,Food,Music,Perfume,What Miss Plumcake is — Miss Plumcake @ 10:00 am

Good morning my little muskrats of love, how’s every little thing? Miss Plumcake is up to her teacups this week getting ready a very special month-long feature which will kick off on Black Friday and run all the way through Christmas. But until then let’s find out What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: Passionista by Ian Kerner PhD. A girl’s gotta keep on top of her game. The most thoughtful, least cringe-inducing practical guide to intimacy I’ve found.

Watching: The Graduate. I’m so not saying anything else about this right now.

Hearing:The Way I See It by Raphael Saadiq. Modern babymakin’ music in the grand Motown style. John Legend will get it done, but Raphael Saadiq will give you twins!

Smelling: 21 by Costume National a luxurious spiced milk bath in an 19th century opium den. Not especially complex, but unusual and sexy.

Loving: The return of the non-suicidal heel. About time, too! I love the slightly Edwardian feel of these kitten heels from All Black. Also? Eel!

Hating: Special K Protein Water Mix. I don’t generally go for this sort of thing, but a girl can always use more protein so I caved. Big mistake. This is gross with a capital GRRRR.

Wanting: Alexander McQueen Knuckle Box – The perfect combination of formal and violent. The only way this could be more “me” is if it came with a flask and a Book of Common Prayer.

Buying: Stabby Statement Necklace. Okay it’s not really called “stabby” but I love necklaces like this because it’s such a contrast against the softness of the decollete. Pieces like work especially well on big girls because it balances out our over-the-top lushness.

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